• 08Mar
    USCIS Policy Updates Comments Off on USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

    To the surprise (and chagrin) of many, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS” or the “Service”) recently announced that it will temporarily suspend premium (expedited) processing for all H-1B non-immigrant visa petitions for a period of six months, effective April 3, 2017.   The premium processing service allows a petitioning employer to receive an adjudication of an H-1B petition (either a request for additional evidence or an approval) within 15 calendar days of filing of the Form I-907 and payment of an additional filing fee to USCIS of $1,225.

    Since Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 2018) cap-subject H-1B petitions cannot be filed before Monday, April 3, 2017, the Service’s suspension of premium processing will apply to all cap-subject petitions filed for the FY 2018 H-1B cap — this includes cases filed under the standard H-1B cap and the advanced degree cap exemption, more commonly known as the U.S. Master’s Cap.

    In addition to cap-subject petitions, the suspension of the premium processing service will also apply to H-1B petitions that are exempt from the annual quota, such as extensions of stay, requests to amend existing H-1B status and requests for changes of employer.

    USCIS has cited the reason for the suspension as an opportunity for the Service to catch up on the backlog of pending H-1B petitions that are nearing 240 days past expiration of the current period of authorized stay at which point continued employment authorization can be impacted.

    How does this impact H-1B Foreign National Employees?

    The premium processing suspension will have a significant adverse effect on H-1B workers wishing to engage in international travel. Since a foreign national needs a valid visa to return to the U.S. from a trip abroad, and such visa may not be obtained without an H-1B approval notice, the foreign national, in many cases, will either have to delay trips abroad – or remain abroad if a trip is necessary – until the H-1B petition is approved and a visa application may be made at a U.S. Consulate. Under current “normal” processing of H-1B petitions, such approval may take up to 11 months!

    If you have any questions in connection with any of the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

  • 07Mar
    Global Immigration Comments Off on President Trump’s New Executive Order On Immigration

    On March 6, 2017, President Trump signed a new Executive Order (EO) — replacing the previous Executive Order of January 27, 2017 which had imposed a travel ban on seven (7) designated countries. The new EO imposes a 90-day suspension of entry to the United States of nationals of Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen who (i) are outside the United States on the effective date of the EO; (ii) did not have a valid visa as of 5:00 EST on January 27th, 2017; and (iii) do not currently have a valid visa on the effective date of the EO. Thus, any individual who had a valid visa on January 27, 2017 (prior to 5:00 PM) or holds a valid visa on the effective date of the EO (March 16, 2017) is not barred from seeking entry.

    The EO does not apply to (i) lawful permanent residents of the United States; (ii) foreign nationals admitted or paroled into the United States after the effective date of the EO; (iii) foreign nationals with a document that is valid on the effective date of the EO or any date thereafter which permits travel to the United States, such as an Advance Parole document; (iv) dual nationals when travelling on a passport issued by a non-designated country; (v) foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic, NATO, C-2 for travel to the United Nations, or G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4 visas; or (vi) foreign nationals already granted asylum or refugee status in the United States before the effective date of the EO.

    In addition, the EO suspends refugee resettlement to the U.S. for 120 days and suspends the Visa Interview Waiver Program indefinitely.

    The Department of Homeland Security has posted a Q&A: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry To the United States with respect to the Executive Order.

    If you have any questions in connection with any of the foregoing, please contact our firm’s Immigration Law Group at (973) 602-3455.

  • 07Mar
    Firm News, Uncategorized Comments Off on Bridge the Divide between Global Business and Geographic Boundaries

    shrm-affiliate-logoCorporate immigration law will be the topic when the Gateway SHRM Chapter in Jersey City meets on the evening of March 22nd. Partners from Meyner and Landis LLP, Scott R. Malyk and Anthony F. Siliato, will present “Tips to Effectively Recruit, Retain and Terminate Foreign Workers”. This program will provide timely and practical information for human resource professionals. For location and additional details please click here.